What’s on

London Premier: Volcano + ScreenTalk

Monday 1 July 2019

Barbican Centre

Ukraine/Germany/Monaco 2018 Dir Roman Bondarchuk 104 min.

A military interpreter becomes stranded in a small southern Ukrainian steppe town in Roman Bondarchuk’s brilliant, surreal black comedy.

Set in the visually astonishing borderlands of Southern Ukraine, this multi award-winning dark comedy stars Serhiy Stepansky as city boy Lukas, an interpreter from the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe). Having been abandoned by his co-workers, Lukas seeks shelter with Vova (Viktor Zhdanov), a colourful local. Lukas gradually sheds his preconceptions about rural life and finds a new, unexpected happiness in this wild corner of Ukraine.

From its stunning opening visual to its painterly images of the Ukrainian countryside, Volcano is a unique, Kafkaesque love letter to a region seldom explored in cinema. Roman Bondarchuk’s fiction debut is a triumph with hints of David Lynch’s surrealism and Emir Kusturica’s bawdiness – though the vision is very much Bondarchuk’s own.

“I discovered the unique universe of the south Ukrainian steppe through my wife’s uncle, Vova, who lived there and who was constantly coming up with crazy business ideas. Once, he suggested to dig up the bones from German soldiers from the Second World War in his garden and sell them to the relatives in Germany. This seemed so absurd to me that I decided to follow him with a camera to get a better understanding of his life and the area where he lived.

In this deserted land, during a very dramatic moment of history in my country, I found a wild and forgotten place of anarchy; a new provincial order, where people live their own lives, some of them even without any documents or connection to the state. Living in the city, it is hard to imagine a magical place like this, where people still see mirages, with local feudals, private security groups on watermelon fields and checkpoints in the middle of nowhere exists.

I wanted to find out why people stay there, what keeps them from leaving? And is it possible to find yourself or at least survive there?” – Director’s statement.

UK Premier: Ruben Brandt, Collector + Introduction

Wednesday 28 August 2019

Barbican Cinema 2

Hungary 2018 Dir Milorad Krstic 96 min

A famous psychotherapist is forced to steal art from the world’s most renowned museums and private collections in this dazzling Hungarian animation.

Ruben Brandt is forced to steal 13 paintings from the world’s most famous collections to prevent the terrible nightmares he has as a result of subliminal messaging he received as a child. He and his band of thieves strike regularly at the Louvre, Tate, Uffizi, Hermitage and Museum of Modern Art.

“The Collector” quickly becomes the most wanted criminal in the world. Gangsters and headhunters chase him around the world while the reward for his capture keeps rising. A cartel of insurance companies entrusts Mike Kowalski, a private detective and leading expert on art theft, to solve the case…

This event is supported by the Hungarian Cultural Centre in London.   


UK Premier: Acid (18*) + ScreenTalk

Wednesday 30 October 2019

Barbican Cinema 1

Russia 2018 Dir Alexander Gorchilin 97 min.

The death of a friend derails the lives of a couple of young musicians in Alexander Gorchilin’s vital and vibrant debut film.

When Vanya, naked and high on acid, plunges to his death from a balcony, complex feelings of anger, guilt and rebellion surface in two of his friends, Sasha (Filipp Avdeev) and Pete (Alexander Kuznetsov), one of them blaming himself for Vanya’s demise.

Alexander Gorchilin, known for his work as an actor in Kirill Serebrennikov’s The Student, offers an electrifying and provocative directorial debut. Similar in age to his central characters, it’s an often disturbing portrait of disaffected Russian youth and masculinity in crisis, with excellent performances.

The event is organised in collaboration with M.ART – a non-profit, non-governmental cultural organisation that showcases contemporary Russian culture in London, New York and Tel Aviv. www.mart.foundation